Monday, July 31, 2006

`Lace In` (or was it an Eat in?)

As part of the Lace Guild competition entitled `Seven` Tonbridge Lacemakers have decided to dress dolls basing the theme on the seven deadly sins, with small pieces of lace contributed by members and then dyed, each colour representing a sin. A small group of us decided the best way to get said peice of lace made would be to meet up one day and have a `Lace In`, so we duly assembled to begin our task - now me being me, decided I would knit a piece of lace knitting, just to be different (yes it does count) and started off with high hopes and a complicated pattern - now I don`t know if it was the heat, mistakes in the pattern, or just plain old me, but by lunch time I had frogged and tinked, and tinked and frogged and had absolutely nothing to show for it.

In the end with my only resource being a pattern book our hostess produced, I resorted to a very simple lace pattern and produced a square - now I know it isn`t very much to show for a days work, but it was on old fashioned size 14s with fine crochet cotton, and I found it awfully difficult to knit and eat at the same time - almost everyone had decided to make and bring along some goodies, without anyone realising we were all doing it, and it would have been very rude not to try the various cheese straws, cakes, muffins, biscuits and would you believe, some absolutely divine apple crumble and ice cream..... so much for my diet in readiness for my holiday!

Talking of knitting whilst doing something else, I hadn`t realised it was unusual to knit and read at the same time, (I mean we all knit and watch TV dont we? so I hadn`t thought anything of reading instead) I started it many years ago when my Nan had a blind friend who used to knit the most beautiful lace patterns (makes me feel even more ashamed of my little square above) and being an impressionable teenager at the time I thought if she could do that then I really ought to be able to at least knit stocking stitch without looking - so I did, and then being a book worm decided to combine the two - the only problem is keeping the book open!

Mrs P. really was an amazing knitter, her daughter used to record the pattern onto a tape, but she would only need to listen to it for a couple of repeats and she had it off pat - if she ever did drop a stitch, and living alone too, the first available visitor was enlisted to pick it up for her, including the milkman!!!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Visiting my favourite shops again

Well what else is a girl supposed to do when she has 6 weeks off, and a 13 year old who loves a bit of retail therapy - besides we need some books for our holiday and I much prefer to buy them from the charity shops - they benefit and so does my purse, plus they end up at another charity shop when we have finished, so everyone is happy. Anyway, I digress, I couldn`t believe my eyes when I found Folk Socks for 50p, (50p !!) I have also been on the look out for the embroidery book since I did a weekend course a year or so ago, and had to have the needles, the only size I don`t have at only 20p a pair. Just how lucky can a girl get?

The two sleeves of the bolero are still two at the moment, though I am getting mighty confused at times as to which I have knitted and where I am going as I am using a circ and knitting straight (though it probably would help if I wasn`t reading at the same time!) - I will persevere for a bit, but may have to resort to long straight needles (which I find unwieldy) or only knitting one at a time, if my poor little brain finds itself still befuddled.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fur coats this weather?!

I know we brits make a hobby of complaining about the weather, but it is a bit warm here at the moment, to put it mildly, but it is the animals that I feel the most sorry for. I`ve put Clover in his run in the shade to let the air circulate, but he is still a hot cross bunny, and poor old Dudley doesn`t know what to do with himself, though biting my ankles seems to help for a few moments!

When DD was a tiny tot, I remember commenting on the poor old puss cat being hot with his fur coat on. Some time later when all was quiet in the other room I looked in to see her examining the cats tummy, "I`m trying to find his buttons" she explained in all seriousness " so he can take his coat off and feel better" ! Ahhh, sweet!

The Bolero (for the much more grown up cat undresser) is coming along and now I remember why I don`t like making cardies, I have done 3 bits and there are still another 2 to go. I am having a go at knitting both sleeves at the same time - any bets as to how long before I forget to change balls of wool and carry straight across both sleeves with the same one?

As for my Bolero, DD and I went shopping yesterday and seeing one very similar to the pattern I have, I was persuaded to try it I have 250g cream cotton DK to find something to knit with! oh well better that than spend all those hours knitting only to find I looked like a grown up in a kiddies cardi! Why do other people look so good in something and I look downright awful?

ps. I am having problems with uploading a photo today, so will try to add something later, blogger permitting.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Manning the phones for Sport Relief

Well womanning them actually, but it doesn`t sound quite the same!

Through a colleague at work I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer to answer the phones for Sport Relief last Saturday at the BT Tower in London. We went up early as the guys who had done this before were very keen to be allocated to the higher level call centre, I just did as I was told not really knowing what to expect - but I have to admit to being a bit taken aback when I was told we were going to the 34th floor! The lift travels at 1400 ft per minute and took approx 30 seconds to reach our destination! but when I stepped out of the lift with shaking legs and my stomach still somewhere around the second floor, it wasn`t just the speed of ascent that took my breath away.
Any thoughts that I might be afraid of heights were immediately forgotten as I walked round and round the building entranced by the views.

It was just as good when night fell, the lights of London were fascinating, but unfortunately the reflections on the glass made a decent photo impossible.

Once the phone lines opened we got under way, and being part of the relief team (with the lovely orange T-shirt to denote my status!) I spent the evening moving from one desk to another to cover the volunteers breaks, and with no way of stopping the call from coming through, we got change overs down to a fine art so as not to miss any donations.

It was incredible how quickly the time passed and before I knew where I was it was midnight and home time, by now of course all the trains down south had stopped running, so we were provided with a black cab to take us home, typically we were the last cab load to be picked up (possibly something to do with a reluctance on the drivers part to go outside of the M25) - and I finally walked in at 3am, tired but happy.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It`s arrived, it`s arrived!

My parcel from my Oneskein secret pal was waiting for me on my doorstep and just look what was inside. I`ve done my best to capture the lovely colouring of the yarn, hand dyed with Koolaid, but I still don`t think I have done it justice, the variation doesn`t show on my screen but it reminds me of delicate summer fruits, pavlova, cream, and yummy things.(I know, I know, I can`t help it though) It has a curious fruity smell which I can`t quite put my finger on. It really is beautiful and is jumping up and down screaming `Knit me, Knit me` so as soon as I find the pattern to show it off to it best advantage, I will do just that - I`m thinking a simple lace scarf possibly, but not so involved as to detract from the colouring, hmmmmm.

She has made me some gorgeous stitch markers too, so much nicer than the austrian blind curtain rings I had been using!

Actually, I`m beginning to wonder if my secret pal has been spying on me, not only has she sent super yarn, and lovely stitch markers, but the card that came with them is so good too, she must have been watching Dudley! It is entitled ` Some of the places cats like to sleep...`
1- wherever you are about to sit (yep I can identify with that one)
2- on the clean washing (yes again)
3- on a flower (of course, but you throw some of the soil out first)
4- in the way (Oh DEFINITELY)
5- on a tea towel (if he can)
6- in the cupboard (uh huh)
7- on the draining board (well it`s in the sun)
8- in the pram (I`m sure he would if I had one)
9- on the bread board (given half a chance)
10- behind your head (or on it!)
11 - on your pillow (where else?)

Its all excellent, thank you so much, Puss, I do hope you are getting just as lovely gifts yourself.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Knitting amongst the sheep

Wasn`t it hot on Sunday? And I don`t do hot! DD had decided to go swimming with cousins, so DH offered to take me his flying field! He promised me a shady tree, a canvas chair and a couple of hours knitting, so with just a backwards glance at the ironing pile, I took him up on his kind offer.
Though I know many of the flyers (he has been with the club over 20 years) and I often go to the other site (mainly to photograph his models as the magazine RCM & E he writes for always want flying shots) I have never been to the site at Headcorn Airfield. So there I sat, surrounded by Model flyers and plenty of sheep (and associated mess - you don`t wear your best white shoes here!) for a very pleasant knit while DH threw ....

this around the sky, in a quite impressive way. It has a 5` wingspan, in case you were wondering how big it is, and is powered by a small internal combustion engine, whose specifications I won`t bore you with, mainly because the details do tend to go in one ear........

Once we had got past the stereotypical questions about what I was knitting (DD`s pale pink bolero) with the relevant answers, ie... no, I`m to old to want to go through that again, and DD is too young ...(do people really think the only things we knit are for babies!)... I had a good old chat and knit, and I`ve nearly finished the back - which is not bad for me in less than a week, though I know it`s no where near up to the speed of most of you.

Only snag was, the ironing fairy must have gone out too, `cos the pile is still sitting where I left it :0(.